Hurry up and wait is an inherent aspect of all sail boat races, from Optis to Maxis. We are currently in a shore postponement here at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup because the wind is blowing too hard in the racing area. Instead of first warning signals at 1130, the race committee is keeping us in the barn hoping that winds will ease, allowing them to start us racing around 1430. The Prospector team is scattered around the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda, checking out the amazing yachts here, havinga coffee in the café, or just sitting in the shade people watching. For Tery, Quinn, Lu and Scotty it means a welcome few hours to continue working on the punch list on Prospector. In my case it means hanging out in the YCCS bar, no shock there to those who know me, staying out of the sun in an air conditioned environment working on my nav set up and this post.
Those of you who have tracked our previous adventures know that when we go quiet it means things have gotten busy. Busy we have been. We now have three, count ‘em three practice days in the boat. Those three days are everything and nothing. We have learned an amazing amount, both about the boat and each other.
The key take aways are:
We have an amazing yacht. She is beautiful, fast, strong and safe.
We have some amazing people here teaching us how to sail her. Endless thanks to Peter Isler, Gordon Maguire, Bob McCarthy, Dave Tank and Dave Scott for passing on their boundless knowledge with such enthusiasm and patience.
We have an amazing crew. We knew that already but these last three days have just proved it all over again. This is a big step up from the Farr 60. Everyone has upped their game responding to the challenge with their usual enthusiasm and humor. We are all in a doctorate level sailing course and learning as fast as we can.
Things happen fast on the new Prospector. We are sailing at 10 knots upwind and 18-20 knots downwind. The sails are huge and heavy. It takes a team of three to move them. The loads on halyards and sheets are immense. When all four bikes are linked and eight people are on them things fly. At the top mark kites go up and jibs come down. At the bottom mark the dance starts five minutes out, bikes ready, staysail furled, staysail down, jib up, kite down. The sequence is easy to write. Getting it all down while barreling down the course at nearly 20 knots is hard. Everything has to happen in its time and on time. Fall behind the sequence and you can’t catch up. Each of us depends on the other to get the job done. The first couple of times we have tried each maneuvre things went badly. Slowly and steadily we are getting better. But each time, like the proverbial box of chocolates, you never know what we are going to get.
We are scheduled for five coastal races. We have mixed emotions about not doing any windward/leeward races. Not doing them takes off a bit of pressure, but it also means we won’t have the chance to learn from doing them.
Time to go check in on the boat. Will try to get a post up tonight about our first race.